Thursday, January 13, 2022

Odes and Couplets

Teaching creates all other professions.

Two possible mentor poems today. Teachers deserve lots of odes, don't you think?

excerpt from
Ode to Teachers
By Pat Mora

...“I'm listening,” you encourage us.
“Come on!
Join our conversation,
let us hear your neon certainties,
thorny doubts, tangled angers”...

Isn't "neon certainties, thorny doubts, tangled angers" a great way to describe what a teacher might elicit? What sort of things would you like to hear from students, teachers, friends, lovers, poets, others? Read the rest of Mora's poem here.


This second mentor poem by Marilyn Singer is pretty self-explanatory: write a rhyming couplet about an animal. Mine are below.

By Marilyn Singer

Hugging you takes some practice.
So I'll start out with a cactus.


I like that you are predisposed
To hold still and strike a pose.


On the other hand, I don't have any photos of the belted kingfisher...

No Photographs, Please

The kingfisher is kind of rough--
He flies away, says to get stuffed.


A(nother) Year of Reading has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Mary Lee!

Overlooked ornamentals

It is better to be looked over than overlooked.
~Mae West

I know there are gardeners out there who are saying, "ornamental grasses aren't overlooked!" but I am just speaking about myself. Flowers have been my focus and I never really took a good look at the grasses. But aren't they something? (I don't know a lot about them, so if any of these are invasive and a terrible hassle, mea culpa.)

Foxtail fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
photo by Schnobby

Winter Miscanthus, Southern Ontario, Canada
photo by M. Rehemtulla for QUOI Media Group

Cenchrus purpurascens spikelet, Australia
photo by Harry Rose

Zebra grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus')
photo by Schnobby

Crimson fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum)
photo by Dinesh Valke

Pampa grass inflorescences (Cortaderia selloana), France
photo by JLPC

Monday, January 10, 2022


Take a music-bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water-bath is to the body.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

For Music Monday, Impossible by Nothing but Thieves (Orchestral Version):

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Singing along with Emmylou

I was washing dishes at the Greyhound bus station at the time and I said, 'Awap bop a lup bop a wop bam boom!'
~Little Richard

My One Little Word for this year is "generosity," focusing on generosity of spirit and abundance, and I am trying to start out with an abundance of gratitude. My only resolution was to keep a gratitude journal again (I did it in 2020 from Jan-October, when I put it aside rather vigorously.) I'm not very many days in, but so far so good :) The other day, I included "doing dishes" in my gratitude journal because, as much time as I spent doing them, I figured they had better make the list. If I had thought about this poem, it would have been especially appropriate:

excerpt from
Ode To Singing Along To Emmylou Harris Loudly While Washing Dishes
by John Paul Davis

I can’t bend the oak of my baritone
into any shape that even motions
like her cosmic cracked soprano
& I don’t care. the rooms of my heart
the spun gold of Emmylou’s singular
& plaintive instrument bless
my evening. My spirit has soapy
hands & abundant life,
my spirit knows heartache
& yearning. It had bled & wept
& she knows, she knows it all.

read the whole thing here

This might be a good mentor poem: "Ode to Singing Along to _________ While __________."


Happy Birthday to Ariana! She is having a Van Gogh-themed birthday this year. You might remember the Frida Kahlo b'day (such a pretty one!).

Beyond Literacy Link has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!


[Silence] is when we hear inwardly, sound when we hear outwardly.
~Henry David Thoreau

For the first Art Thursday of 2022, a woodblock print by Wharton Esherick that captures the starkness and quiet beauty of the season:

by Wharton Esherick

Wednesday, January 5, 2022


On the benches, on the sidelines
Wallflowers, this is our time
~Jukebox the Ghost

For your viewing/listening pleasure, a birdcam and Jukebox the Ghost: